Nearly 140 years ago, Leon Breitling founded his namesake brand in the Jura Mountains with a focus on chronographs. After two short decades, he passed away, leaving the business to his son Gaston who was responsible for establishing the brand’s reputation in the realm of pilot watches. By 1932, Gaston was ready to retire but wanted to ensure the brand remained in the family. Soon, his son, Willy, took his place at the head of the company and continued to build on his father and grandfather’s work creating high precision timepieces. The Breitling family legacy lives on in every timepiece that leaves the manufacture, and today, Breitling has launched a new trio of watches, each of which is inspired by one of the founders: the Premier B21 Chronograph Tourbillon 42 Leon Breitling, Gaston Breitling and Willy Breitling.
The Premier collection is the brainchild of Willy, who sought to elevate the wristwatch to a thing of elegance without compromising its technical prowess. The original Premier model launched in 1943 with a handsome design while maintaining the superb chronograph functionality the brand was known for. The new Premier B21 Chronograph Tourbillon 42 builds on this design philosophy with the use of precious metals and the addition of a tourbillon complication.
“The Premier B21 Chronograph Tourbillon 42 is the perfect expression of Breitling’s design and expertise,” says CEO Georges Kern. “In the tourbillon, you see the mechanism living at every second. It is the beating heart of the watch.”
For the Premier B21 Chronograph Tourbillon 42, Breitling worked closely with the specialty movement maker Manufacture La Joux-Perret to develop the B21 calibre, which takes the uncommon step of pairing a tourbillon with a chronograph. The combination makes this trio of watches distinctly Breitling.
The addition of precious metals elevates the complications in a way that aligns with Willy’s vision for the Premier line. In honour of each of the three founders, a different precious metal is used. The Leon Breitling features a solid 18-karat rose gold case with a silver dial and brown alligator strap. The Gaston Breitling pairs a solid 18-karat white gold case with an anthracite dial and black alligator strap. And the Willy Breitling completes the collection with a solid platinum case and blue dial with a black alligator strap.
Each new addition to the Premier collection is available on Breitling’s website today. The two gold variations, the Leon and Gaston, are priced at $57,000 each while the platinum variation commemorating Willy will set you back US$67,000 (just over RM305,000).
Previously published on Robb Report.